Taylor Olson’s Birthday Concert at Bar Lubitsch feat. Taylor Jamison

Last night’s show was easily the most fun I’ve had at a show in a long time. Some of that has to do with the genre and the cool West Hollywood bar, but the majority of my enjoyment came from the energy of the two very powerful performances that commanded the night.

taylor jamisonTaylor Jamison opened the show with four of his original tracks from his upcoming EP. Partnering with his guitarist and background vocalist Manuel, Jamison took the stage like a pro. It was obvious that this was not just a hobby for Jamison, but that he had very specific, and very large goals in mind as he performed.

Jamison’s songs brought an honesty to the floor that is sometimes lost in pop music. In the acoustic setting, the strength and intimacy of his songwriting had the opportunity to truly shine. His voice brought me back to the days of beloved boy bands like Backstreet Boys, ‘NSync, and even Plus One. Mixing this nostalgia with an undeniable confidence and stage presence made this opening act impossible to forget.

Taylor Jamison’s memorably upbeat choruses and raw content were the perfect primer for
taylor olsonTaylor Olson
‘s main set. The singer/songwriter/producer matched Jamison’s fearless and commanding persona, and added an extra feeling of prowess as he brought everyone into the fold of his musical world. Olson’s set, backed by original production, ranged from remixes of popular songs to original songs and raps, as well as songs he’s written for other artists.

With his heart-pounding beats and movingly relatable lyrics, Olson skillfully brought the audience from cheers and dancing to focused silence, as he lyrically navigated the waters of his life for us. From the losses he’s suffered deeply to the pride and defiance he feels in who he is and how people react to him, Olson’s music was relatable and elusive at the same time: something to hold on to, but also something one couldn’t hope to recreate themselves.

Between the two, these Taylors gave the audience brilliant and passionate performances, certainly a night for the books. We wish them both the best, and Taylor Olson a very happy birthday!

 

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA.

Shani Rose LIVE at Fox N Hounds

Yesterday’s Songwriter Sundays brought us the sweet musical stylings of miss Shani Rose. The LA native was joined by bassist Paul Jones and percussionist Riley Flanagan, both also contributing to the vocal set of the evening.

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The multi-instrumentalist and songstress brought us a wave of comfortable, homey music in her rich alto tones, which brought me back to my days of obsessively listening to Regina Spektor and Meiko. There’s a distinctly indie flavor that Shani brought to the table, and with it, a gentle nostalgia for simpler times. Even in the complexity of her lyrics, Shani spun a melodic story that seemed effortless and natural, making the show an easy ride for listeners to buckle themselves in for.

Shani further enriched her show by bringing two songwriter friends to the stage. First to share the stage was Meg Barrett, an Austin, TX native who recently made the move to LA. Barrett’s clear and crisp vocals were a perfect blend to Shani’s self-described “soulful crunch”. Their song “I Just Woke Up”, which debuted earlier this month on the stage of LA’s Ireland’s 32, oozed catchy melodies and relatable lyrics.

Shani finished her set by inviting a second collaborator to the stage, Alfa Garcia. The two ended the show with a sweet song entitled “Win or Lose”.

From beginning to end, Shani brought us back to the roots of storytelling last night, and what a pleasurable journey it was.

 

 

Next up for Shani: Shani Rose’s live ONLINE 2nd Sundays Concert Series on Dec. 13th.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Luci LIVE at Molly Malone’s

Christmas came early this year in the form of singer-songwriter trio Luci as they took the stage at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles last night.

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The reputable local venue was filled to the brim as McKail Seely, Ashley Maietta, and Ariana Tibi gave us the gift of their beautifully blended voices and thought provoking, and often sensual, writing. It isn’t every day you head to a live show and are happily knocked out of your chair by three part harmonies and boat loads of attitude. It’s enough to make a person fall in love.

From the first song, the Americana group was all smiles, perpetuating the joy they feel as musicians and performers. The first anthem, an ode to not making a lover wait, was met with applause by the second verse from an audience who couldn’t contain their excitement at hearing such tight harmonies and all around sexy lyrics. By the end of the show, the crowd was on their feet.

Luci took us on an emotional roller coaster with the help of drummer Justin Siegel, bassist Jamie Harmon III, and electric guitarist Mauricio Guerrero Jr. Seely and Tibi also armed themselves with acoustic guitars, while Maietta had the keys and a tambourine as her weapons of choice for the evening.

From playful sensuality to songs about being there for each other, as friends and as a world, back to the honest theme of sex with the first song they ever wrote together, “Can’t Be Alone With You“, the trio exemplified what it means to be true lovers of music. Their combined stage presence, songwriting chops, and powerful vocals makes for an irresistible combination. After all, what’s better than one extraordinarily talented singer-songwriter?

Three.

 

 

You can follow Luci across social media @lovelucimusic.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“Peace Of My Heart” Music Video Release by Molly Moore

Molly Moore just dropped the visual accompaniment to her new single “Peace Of My Heart”. Teasers of the video have been released on social media, tantalizing her thousands of fans across internet platforms, and finally, the video is here.

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Shot and directed by Nik Tizekker of Tizaster
Productions
and co-directed by Moore, the video highlights the narrative of a complicated relationship with the interlacing of images of destruction: flowers falling apart and back together, a TV shattering, once blank walls now covered in swirls of ink and color. The juxtaposition found within these images illuminates the underlying truth of the song, which is that there is no easy answer or simple solution to any relationship – there is always a place for peace and war to grow.

Moore shines in this video, showcasing her acting chops as she casts furtive glances towards the camera. The entire story is simply told in her eyes, as her expression changes from desperate, to submissive, to cold frustration.

Real life boyfriend and fellow singer-songwriter-producer Brandyn Burnette makes an appearance as Moore’s love interest, personifying the circle of emotions that swirls throughout the video, perfectly paired with the song’s lyrics.

Between Moore’s presence in front of the camera, the beautiful and unique shots by Tizekker, and the lyrics, co-written by Moore and Burnette, Peace Of My Heart is hereby crowned a great artistic success.

Check out the video here!

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Damian Sage LIVE at Room 5 Lounge

In my little blogging world, I am most regularly invited to singer-songwritery events, filled with acoustic guitars or a lone keyboard, mournful relationship lyrics over major chords. But the bluesy sound of Damian Sage broke through the glass ceiling of singer-songwriterdom, proving you can make anything old, new.

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Backed by guitarist Brian Simpson, drummer Jamie Douglass, and bassist Ted Russel Kamp, Sage took the intimate, but enthusiastic audience on a journey back. With classic rock and bluesy sounds so familiar and comforting, yet flavored with Sage’s unique storytelling, his music is like an Old Fashioned laced with something unexpected and exciting.

The night was filled with Sage’s intense and surprising originals, stories pulled from his childhood in New York and past relationships, with the occasional nod to some of his favorite LA bands, The Doors and Guns N’ Roses. With the conclusion of each story, the crowd’s cheers grew louder, ebbing Sage on, begging for more of this rare, soulful sound the commercialized city is starving for.

In his cut up jeans and white t-shirt, Sage owned the crowd with his charming New York accent, pinot noir obsession, and self-deprecating humor, infiltrating a swanky Los Angeles neighborhood with the good time feels of your favorite hometown bar. As Sage brought the audience through relatable scenarios and extreme tempo changes, their emotions soared with their cheers. The roof almost came down with “Suitcase Full of Blues”, a masterfully crafted number about a woman he had known as a child who stood on her own two feet and powerfully cast a bad man out of her life with the words “I got some bad news, and here’s your suitcase full of blues.”

By the end of the too short set, the audience called for an encore, but were left with the bittersweet remnants of a powerful lesson in storytelling and staying true to yourself.

 

 

The video for Sage’s “Caught Between The Rhymes” will air on new reality series The Romance next month.

In the meantime, join 10s of thousands of fans and follow Damian Sage Music across social media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

And remember to stay bluesy.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“When Stars Collide” Live Music Video Release by Katie Ferrara

This week Los Angeles native and busking artist Katie Ferrara released a live performance music video for her track “When Stars Collide”.

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This behind the scenes look at the life of a busker, or street performer, is a refreshing look at the art of storytelling through music. With guitarist Jesse Cross at her side, Ferrara does a superb job of bringing the audience in, from the passerby’s in the video, to those watching the scene from home. The video, directed by Cody Ebbeler, encapsulates a comforting, familiar feel, with a personal touch and a bit of classic Katie flair.

The video was filmed outside of Sweety’s Candies in downtown Burbank, CA, an area Ferrara frequents on her busking journeys. Not only has she made a name for herself in the Los Angeles area, busking from the 3rd Street Santa Monica Promenade to Melrose Trading Post, but this unique approach to live performance and building a fan base has brought Ferrara around the world. After winning a street performing contest in June, she was invited to play in a global street band with musicians from around the world, and tour in New Zealand.

The indie/folk artist will be releasing her debut EP in fall 2015. Be sure to stay tuned for more videos like this one as part of The Street Sessions collection, catch her live busking the streets of Los Angeles, and read more about her adventures as a street performer in “The Busking Diaries” on her website.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“Shapes” New Release by Fjord

I discovered this new release by ambient dream-pop duo Fjord in Soundcloud’s “recommended for you” section, and I am so happy I had the time to browse today.

fjord shapes

The opening melodic line of “Shapes” is not unlike the heartwrenching ballad “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors. Mixed with R&B and ambient production elements, this lyrically simple song truly soars straight to the heart with its naked choruses and raw emotions that are stirred therein.

The duo from Quebec, made of Thomas Casault and Louis-Étienne Santais, were recently featured on Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist, showcasing “Shapes” as one of the new highlights of the week.

Keeping on with a tradition of ethereal musicality and hauntingly beautiful vocal lines, perfectly executed, Fjord hits a home run with this track. We look forward to hearing more dreamlike tunes from this alternative duo.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“1000 Degrees of Separation” Single Release by Brandyn Burnette

You all remember Brandyn Burnette, pop darling of the West Coast, and my first interview at A2D.

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Well, we’ve been keeping up to date on BB, as in the last few months he’s branched off on a new DIY adventure which has reaped fantastic results. He blew us all away with his first self-produced single “I Wanna Be (Free)”, introducing a new song and epic music video to match.

But this new track, “1000 Degrees of Separation” is everything I have been asking for from indie artists trying to break into the mainstream. Under a genre Brandyn titles “progressive soul”, this track offers a new, distinctly “Brandyn” flavor, filled with technical sounds, scorching lyrics, and catchy pop melodies. It is a wonderful blend of the psychedelic, powerful, and popular.

Staying true to this new DIY sound, Brandyn’s vocal lines and effects nod to those in his most recent tracks, but also follow the lyrical hypnosis that brings a connectivity to Brandyn’s music that is instrumental in reaching a young and hungry audience.

Thanks to Brandyn for bringing us an exciting new sound, and allowing us to follow your journey as an indie artist in Los Angeles.

Be sure to check out Brandyn Burnette and singer/songwriter girlfriend Molly Moore as they play joint shows  in favorite venues around Los Angeles this summer.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Angela Mukul and Trishes LIVE at Lost Property Bar

As I walked into Lost Property Bar off Hollywood and Vine last night, I was hit with three pleasant “firsts”: my first time at the trendy new whiskey bar in Hollywood, and my first time hearing both Angela Mukul and Trishes live.

The showcase, trending on social media under the hashtag #HwoodSongwriters, was put on by Los Angeles marketing company Alternative Ent, who specializes in indie branding. Tonight, Alternative Ent brought together singer/songwriters Angela Mukul and Trishes for their special showcase.

 angela mukulUp first, Angela Mukul stepped behind her guitar and up to the plate, wearing a favorite wide brimmed hat and an even wider smile. The singer/songwriter from Orange County first gained attention with her thick voice and energetic melodies as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next” vocal competition. From there, she has released her debut EP “Free” and a single “I’d Rather Be Single”.

Last night, however, the audience was treated with several new songs from Mukul. Her soulful, yet hometown country vibes, soared over the simple acoustic accompaniment from chorus to chorus. Despite the loud room and difficult acoustics, Mukul didn’t sacrifice a single emotional dynamic, allowing her songs to ebb and flow as they were meant to. The songwriter further showcased her comfortable stage presence as she made an effort to connect with every member of the audience, drawing them in one by one. Saving her best song for last, “Bomb” left the audience in a rapture of cheers, and the gentleman next to me whistled the melody until Trishes took the stage.

trishesTrish Hosein performs under stage name Trishes, an allusion to her use of loops during her performances. As the artist settled in behind her keyboard in her signature facial war paint, it was clear we were in for a show. The Berklee grad started her set with a quick beatbox into the microphone, threw a loop on it, and continued to layer her first song before adding her full and practiced vocals. Between the layers, melodic choices, and fresh lyrics, Trishes transformed the bar into a one woman theater, showcasing her skills as a musical storyteller.

While the comparison to Imogen Heap could be made, Trishes moves away from the pop world and comes into her own in a theatrical element that is a unique and uncharted territory. From creating a song out of the year and month she was born to covering Sia’s “Elastic Heart”, bringing a new meaning and light to the already powerful lyrics, this young artist is primed for takeover.

Having already gained attention from around the world, I anticipate only great and innovative things from these two Los Angeles singer-songwriters.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“Grace” Single Release by McKail Seely

A refreshing breeze blew through the internet music hubs in the form of singer-songwriter McKail Seely‘s new single, “Grace”. Released in February in a world filled with half-hearted, twice-edited pop beats, the song brings a frankness and openness to the many online venues that is both refreshing, and a relief.

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“Grace”, in Seely’s words, began as a typical breakup song, but soon became a ballad about so much more. In the song, Seely laments a lost relationship, in a format like a love letter that will never be sent, or a page of a diary that her lost lover will never see. But the song transcends into a hopeful place, as the songstress remembers that there is more to life than the present, that tomorrow is an ever-coming day full of possibilities, if we can have the strength and wisdom to let go of what we cannot control.

As I listened to the song for the first time, I was drawn by Seely’s wailing vocals, full of emotion and vulnerability that is a rare treasure in today’s world of melodine and autotune. Her writing mirrored many of the expressions of my own heart, with an honesty that immediately quieted the world around me and drew me in. The folksy instrumentation makes the song feel like a timeless tradition, that has been sung in a hometown bar or favorite cafe for generations.

The wisdom, vulnerability, and simplicity of “Grace” make it everything a song should be: honest, moving, and the product of a heart’s confessions.

You can purchase “Grace” at iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. If you’re local to LA, you can see the talented Salt Lake City native perform at coffee shops, cafes, and even yoga studios on a regular basis, by keeping up with her on her Facebook page.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.